Small Cell Forum, the telecoms organization driving network densification on a global scale has hailed a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent city and town governments from charging mobile carriers up to US$2 billion worth of fees in relation to the deployment of wireless equipment, including small cells.
“The announcement represents a huge step forward to removing bureaucratic barriers standing in the way of bringing the benefits of small cells to consumers all over the US, delivering better cellular coverage today and helping speed future 5G deployments,” said SCF.
Currently, small cells deployments are treated the same as large microcell towers, and are therefore subject to federal processes. Network operators and their agents are required to comply with extensive bureaucratic constraints when designing, building and deploying small cells. This, SCF added, represents significant municipal fees and delays in the development of the dense networks required to meet the growing demand for mobile data and to lay the foundations for 5G.
“SCF actively works to mitigate the challenges around small cell siting, with progress in the US having been achieved by building industry consensus around siting requirements in terms of size, power and backhaul, as well as a streamlined approval process. These have acted as benchmarks to facilitate discussions with municipalities and regulators such as the FCC,” said SCF Chair David Orloff.
“We welcome the Commission’s announcement, recognising the role of small cells in taking our mobile networks towards 5G, and will continue our efforts in the United States and other markets to drive the industry forward.”